La Pologne souhaite acquérir des missiles de croisière américains

30 nov. 2016 | Par Guillaume Belan

La Pologne a demandé à Washington l’achat de 70 missiles de croisière Lockheed Martin AGM-158B Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range (JASSM-ER).

Equipé d’un moteur turbopropulseur plus efficace et d’un volume de carburant plus élevé , la version ER du JASSM atteindrait une portée de plus de 930 km. A l’instar du missile français Scalp, le JASSM est un armement destiné à être utilisée contre des cibles protégées de haute valeur. Avec ce missile, la Pologne deviendrait capable de frapper le territoire russe.

Le contrat éventuel est estimé à 200 millions de dollars et inclut une mise à niveau des F-16C/D polonais.

Source: Air&Cosmos

Report Urges Industry Diversification in UK Shipbuilding Projects

By: Andrew Chuter, November 29, 2016

LONDON – The UK government could use the new Type 31 frigate program to boost national shipbuilding capabilities and end BAE Systems’ monopoly on the construction of surface warships here, said a report into the future of the industry released Nov 29.

Having the Type 31 built by an industry alliance not led by BAE could be a « pathfinder » towards the rejuvenation of naval shipbuilding, Sir John Parker said in a report about the implementation of a national shipbuilding strategy commissioned by the government.

The report has been published just days after the Ministry of Defence announced it was throwing open to public consultation a possible revamp of its wider defense industrial strategy. Parker’s recommendations will be considered as part of the wider strategy work.

Under new Prime Minister Theresa May, the government is championing the introduction of a new industrial strategy to boost Britain’s manufacturing sector.

Britain committed to building eight Type 26 anti-submarine warfare frigates and five Type 31 general-purpose frigates in the strategic defence and security review last year.

Parker, currently the chairman of Anglo American but previously a highly regarded figure in the shipbuilding sector here, recommended that all the Type 26’s should be built by BAE at its two yards in Glasgow, Scotland, but the Type 31 program should be led by another company or alliance.

BAE responded to the report issuing a statement saying that as the « custodian of the UK’s capability to design and build complex warships we are confident that we will continue to play a prominent role in the delivery of future UK warships. … The commitment to five River-class offshore patrol vessels and eight Type 26’s protects this capability and our shipbuilding skills providing continuous warship building production at our facilities in Glasgow into the 2030s. »

Parker justified the two-primes approach saying, « There is no precedence for building two first-of-class Royal Navy frigates in one location [in a similar timeframe]. »

The executive said the Type 31 program should « harness » regional shipyards in the UK that have demonstrated their competitiveness and capability to build fully outfitted blocks of the warship.

If the recommendation is accepted by the government it could open the door to largely commercial shipyards like the A&P Group, Babcock’s Appledore facility, Cammell Laird and Harland & Wolff.

Parker never mentioned the issue but most of the potential block builders are English-based and their presence on a program like the Type 31 would leave open some options to the government in London were Scotland to vote for independence in any future referendum.

Ahead of the last referendum in 2014 the government threatened to pull it’s warship orders out of Scotland had voters north of the border voted for independence.

Parker said there was already a renaissance in shipbuilding in a range of regional shipbuilding companies.

The national shipbuilding strategy « could take the industry on a transformational journey similar to that experienced by our rejuvenated car industry, » he said.

Once the world’s largest warship builder, the industry directly employs around just 15,000 people today.

Parker said an alliance approach could also be used to allow British yards to bid against international rivals for the construction of three large logistics supply ships. Contract award is expected in 2020.

Logistics vessels are not required to be built in Britain, unlike complex warships like the Type 26.

The Royal Navy’s two 70,000 tonne aircraft carriers now coming to the end of their build program at Babcock International’s Rosyth, Scotland, yard contracted out the construction of modules to several yards around Britain.

The BAE-led industry alliance responsible for the program had the huge modules floated around the coast of Britain to Rosyth where they were assembled like a giant Meccano set.

The Ministry of Defence recently announced it expected BAE to cut the first steel on the lead Type 26 frigate next summer.

The first warship is needed by 2023 to start replacing the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigate fleet.

The Type 31 timeline has not been made public but work is someway behind the anti-submarine warfare frigate.

For the moment, the general-purpose warship is in the pre-concept stage, with program officials still looking which of several potential designs to adopt.

« The Type 26 is critical for the Royal Navy and the nation while the Type 31 is urgently required to maintain frigate fleet numbers.To establish a separate lead shipyard or alliance would appear to be the best way forward for Type 31e to minimise the overall risk, » Parker said.

One industry analyst, who asked not to be named, queried Parker’s take on which approach offered the greatest risk.

« Is it giving BAE two warship types to build or signing up a contractor who may not have built a complex ship of this nature in a generation? » he said.

The analyst said the problem for BAE in losing control of the Type 31e program would come in a design department which is likely to see a rundown in Type 26 work around the end of 2019.

BAE would still be able to compete for combat systems and block building work, said Parker.

The Anglo Amercian executive said he had called the general-purpose frigate the Type31e to emphasize the warship had to be exportable.

Parker said the MoD needed to get on and procure the Type31e as rapidly as possible and place it in service as early as possible in the 2020s.

If the money is not available to match the timeline, « wider government support should be provided to allow early vessel build, » he said.

Money is a real issue if Parker is to meet his aspirations for an early start to the Type 31e.

« There is no money in the government’s ten-year equipment plan for Type 31e, and it would likely take somewhere between £1.5 billion and £2 billion to get the program on the road in the timescale Sir Peter is recommending, » said one industry executive who asked not to be named.

The report said the MoD needed to come up with a 30-year naval shipbuilding road plan for the different shipbuilding programs, with assured budgets not subject to « random » program changes triggered by annual budget adjustments.

Parker didn’t restrict his recommendations to the industrial aspect of shipbuilding. The executive also took a pot shot at MoD’s procurement and program governance shortcomings.

The executive said naval procurement took far too long. « There are too many people who think they have a vote and even a veto in the process. »

« There was a lack of governance systems that grip design and specifications to budget and time to contract, » he said.

Trevor Taylor, a defense-management analyst at the Royal United Services Institute think tank in London, said the report highlighted longstanding acquisition issues at the MoD.

« The report reflects the problems in defense acquisition that were visible at the time of the Smart Acquisition initiative in 1998.The Royal Navy appears to have learned little about the management of the supply base or the link between requirement and cost, » said Taylor


La Norvège souhaite acquérir des P-8A Poseidon

Le ministère norvégien de la Défense a annoncé son intention d’acquérir cinq nouveaux avions de patrouille maritime du type américain P-8A Poseidon. Représentant un investissement de plus d’un milliard d’euros, les appareils devraient être livrés par Boeing en 2021 et 2022.

Ils sont appelés à remplacer les six vieux P-3C Orion de l’armée de l’air norvégienne, mis pour emploi au service de la marine, ainsi que les trois Falcon 20 utilisés pour des missions de guerre électronique.

En service dans l’US Navy, déjà vendu à l’Inde et également retenu par le Royaume-Uni, le Poseidon permettra à la Norvège de maintenir une capacité à long rayon d’action de lutte antinavire et anti-sous-marine, de surveillance maritime, de sauvetage et de renseignement. Les cinq nouveaux appareils contribueront en particulier à renforcer les moyens norvégiens face à la remontée en puissance de la flotte russe, à commencer par ses sous-marins, dont l’activité a repris de la vigueur ces dernières années. C’est dans cette perspective également qu’Oslo compte renouveler ses six sous-marins de la classe Ula. Dans cette perspective, un choix est attendu en 2017 entre les deux modèles en compétition : le Scorpene 2000 du Français DCNS et le type 212A de l’Allemand TKMS.

Conçu à partir de l’avion de ligne 737-800 de Boeing, le P-8A mesure 38.56 mètres de long pour 38.8 mètres d’envergure, sa masse maximale au décollage étant de 83.5 tonnes. Ce biréacteur est conçu pour la mise en oeuvre de missiles Harpoon et SLAM-ER, ainsi que de torpilles Mk50 et Mk54.

Source : Met et Marine

Boeing T-X Headed Toward First Flight

By: Valerie Insinna, November 29, 2016

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Boeing-Saab T-X trainer is on track to fly by the end of the year after completing afterburner engine runs last week, Boeing officials said.

Only a few more major tests remain before the plane makes its inaugural flight, said program manager Ted Torgerson during a Nov. 23 interview ahead of the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC).

“We are clicking off all of our test points, we have tested around somewhere around nearly 1,200 test points on the jet on ground tests,” he said.

The next test involves putting the plane, engine running, through the motions of a flight — takeoff, climb and landing — with the aircraft tied down to the runway, Torgerson said. The company will also check how the airplane responds to simulated system failures. After that, a Boeing-Saab board will clear the aircraft for flight, and the Federal Aviation Administration will certify it. Finally, the company will conduct low-, medium- and high-speed taxi tests before flying the jet.

“We’re looking to fly soon, before the year is over” Tom Conard, the company’s T-X capture team leader, reiterated during a Tuesday briefing at I/ITSEC. “And as we’re preparing that jet to fly, our flight crews are training in the training system devices to prepare them exactly what they’re going to see in the jet.”

A second Boeing T-X was revealed to the press during a September rollout ceremony shortly before it went through structural proof tests. The company is currently powering all of the systems on the airplane, will fuel the plane in a matter of weeks and plans to move quickly through tests for an early 2017 flight, Togerson said.

The Boeing-Saab team is competing against one other clean-sheet design, manufactured by Northrop Grumman. Two other teams are banking on less risky existing designs. Lockheed Martin has partnered with KAI to offer the T-50A, a version of the Korean company’s T-50 trainer. Raytheon joined with Leonardo and CAE on the T-100, which uses Alenia Aermacchi M-346 as the basis.

If all goes according to schedule, the Boeing-Saab plane will fly around the same time as the US Air Force issues its final request for proposals, which officials have targeted for a December release. The service has already put forward several draft request for proposals, which detail threshold requirements as well as objective requirements that could knock hundreds of millions of dollars off a company’s total evaluated price.

Boeing, for its part, has stressed that its clean-sheet design was tailored specifically for the threshold requirements, and officials have not detailed how close it can get to the objective.

« We’re going to meet all the requirements and growth provisions for the future,” Conard said. « It has no radar, it has no weapons, it is not doing anything except advanced fast jet training. »

Asked whether Boeing plans to incorporate such features for potential opportunities currently under discussion by the Air Force — such as an exercise of light-attack aircraft that could inform a program of record, or a proposal to hire industry to play the aggressor role in training exercises — Conard demurred.

“We’ll look at that after we win T-X,” he said. “We’ve got to win T-X, and then from there we will able to adapt and work in future variants. And I’ll leave it at that.”


F/A-18: Le Koweit s’approche d’une décision

28 nov. 2016 | Par Guillaume Belan

Il en était question depuis plusieurs mois, la nouvelle s’approche doucement d’une décision : le Koweit s’apprête à commander 28 F/A-18 Super Hornet. C’est ce qu’a confirmé le General Lafi al-Azemi, responsable des acquisitions militaire du Koweit. Le marché devrait dépasser les 5 Mds de dollars. Les F/A-18 de Boeing viendront remplacer les F-18 vieillissants. Des F-18 que Boeing s’est engagé à reprendre selon le général al-Azemi. Le Koweit en dispose de 39.

Il y a quelques semaines le département d’état américain avait accordé son feu vert pour cette vente. A noter que le le Koweit s’est récemment porté acquéreur de 28 Eurofighter Typhoon (lire ici). L’émirat s’apprête donc a gonfler considérablement ses capacités de chasse et de bombardement, à l’instar du Qatar, qui, outre le Rafale, souhaiterait acquérir jusqu’à 72 F-15 (lire notre article ici). Des besoins apparus avec la montée en puissance des tensions régionales (Yémen, Syrie, Irak, Iran…) qui provoque une certaine course aux armements dans la région. Le Koweit vient également de commander des hélicoptères H225M (relire ici).

Source: Air&Cosmos

Armement : encore un succès de la France (Thales) en Australie

Par Michel Cabirol  |  24/11/2016, 10:00  |  572  mots

Le contrat de modernisation obtenu par Thales vise à doter les systèmes sonars des sous-marins australiens de la classe Collins des meilleures performances mondiales en matière de détection sous-marine (Crédits : ministère de la Défense australien) Thales a signé un contrat de conception et de pré-production avec le ministère de la Défense australien pour moderniser les six sous-marins de la classe Collins de la Marine royale. Un premier contrat de 70 millions d’euros.

Et encore un succès de la France en Australie dans le domaine de l’armement. Thales a signé un contrat de conception et de pré-production avec le ministère de la Défense australien pour moderniser les six sous-marins de la classe Collins de la Marine royale. Le montant de ce contrat s’élève à 100 millions de dollars australiens (soit 70 millions d’euros) mais il pourrait atteindre plusieurs centaines de millions d’euros si l’électronicien obtient les prochaines tranches concernant la production et l’installation des sonars.

Le gouvernement australien devrait donner en 2018 son feu vert définitif au programme de modernisation et les contrats devraient ensuite se succéder sur une dizaine d’années en fonction des besoins de la marine australienne, a précisé le vice-président des systèmes de lutte sous la mer de Thales, Alexis Morel lors d’une conférence téléphonique. Il estime que cette modernisation doit permettre « à la marine australienne de maintenir sa supériorité sous les mers dans la région ».

Meilleures performances mondiales en matière de détection

Thales aura pour mission de remplacer les antennes des sous-marins entrées en service au milieu des années 90 par des systèmes de sonars plus performants. Dans un contexte d’évolution permanente des menaces, ce contrat vise à doter leurs systèmes sonars des meilleures performances mondiales en matière de détection sous-marine, estime le groupe d’électronique.

Premier fournisseur de technologies sonars à l’Australie, Thales s’appuiera sur une forte expertise locale et internationale pour moderniser les antennes cylindriques, les antennes de flanc et leur traitement à bord. Ainsi, les antennes cylindriques seront remplacées par des antennes cylindriques modulaires (MCA), élaborées par Thales au Royaume-Uni. L’actuelle antenne de flanc sera, elle, remplacée par une antenne de dernière génération développée par les équipes Thales en France.

Dans ce cadre de la modernisation des Collins, Thales Australia engagera des sociétés australiennes comme Sonartech Atlas et L3 Oceania en vue de préparer ce programme, a précisé le ministère australien de la Défense dans un communiqué. « C’est un exemple clair de notre engagement à renforcer le potentiel d’innovation de l’industrie militaire australienne », fait observer le ministre de la Défense, Christopher Pyne. Les travaux d’intégration des systèmes de sonars s’effectueront sur le site de Thales à Rydalmere, à côté de Sydney.

« C’est très bien pour Thales en Australie : cela permet de renouveler des compétences et des emplois et nous maintient dans une position importante dans le pays », estime Alexis Morel.

Une étape importante pour Thales

Avec ce contrat obtenu en Australie, Thales a en ligne de mire un contrat que le groupe pourrait décrocher courant 2017. Un contrat de plus d’un milliard d’euros en vue d’équiper de sonars de nouvelle génération les 12 futurs sous-marins que DCNS et Lockheed Martin (système de combat) doivent construire pour la marine australienne (34 milliards d’euros au total). « Dans le contexte du grand contrat sur les futurs sous-marins, c’est évidemment une étape très importante pour nous », estime Alexis Morel. « On ne vend pas la peau de l’ours mais on aborde les choses avec confiance », affirme-t-il toutefois.

« Aujourd’hui, nous avons l’assurance que la confiance du gouvernement australien dans Thales pour moderniser ses sous-marins actuels est renouvelée », assure-t-il, en précisant que le processus de sélection pour ce contrat n’est pas encore défini.

Source: La

Purchase of Chinese Subs by Bangladesh ‘An Act of Provocation’ Toward India

By: Vivek Raghuvanshi, November 23, 2016

NEW DELHI — Ever since Bangladesh took delivery of Chinese submarines on Nov. 14, analysts in India have expressed increasing concern over a deepening of China’s footprint in India’s friendly neighbor.

The arrival of the submarines comes as Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar prepares to visit Dhaka on Nov. 30 to upgrade defense ties between the neighboring countries.

Bangladesh took delivery of the first of the two submarines purchased from China at a cost of $203 million. The Type 035G diesel-electric submarines, armed with torpedoes and mines, are capable of attacking enemy ships and submarines.

Analysts say the sale of the subs is part of a strategy meant to encircle India.

« Given Bangladesh’s economic situation and the fact that it is surrounded on three sides by India, the acquisition of submarines is not only illogical but actually an act of provocation as far as India is
concerned. Submarines are offensive weapons of sea denial and their only use would be to pose a threat in being for India and to complicate the latter’s maritime security paradigm, » said Arun Prakash, a retired Indian Navy admiral and former service chief.

« Obviously this transfer is a step further in China’s strategy of encircling India with its client states, » Prakash added.

However, Bharat Karnad, a research professor at the India-based think tank Centre for Policy Research, disagreed.

« No, it is just a good, economical deal Dhaka could not pass up, » Karnad said. « But the Modi government will have to ensure it does not fetch Beijing strategic benefits. »

« It is difficult to fathom why Bangladesh, which does not encounter any conventional maritime-military threat, has inducted submarines in its navy. The maritime disputes between Bangladesh and two of its only maritime neighbors — Myanmar and India — were resolved through international arbitration in 2012 and 2014, respectively, » said Gurpreet Khurana, an Indian Navy captain and executive director of the National Maritime Foundation.

Swaran Singh, a professor for diplomacy and disarmament at Jawaharlal Nehru University in India, said: « Bangladesh Navy has always been [the] beneficiary of Chinese transfers, but [the] transfer of submarine means major upgradation of their defense cooperation and would contribute to South Asia becoming a far more contested space infested with new weapon systems. »

During Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Bangladesh in October 2016, Bangladesh and China agreed to elevate their relationship from a  » comprehensive partnership of cooperation » to a  » strategic partnership, » which « raises concern here, » said an Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) official.

Diplomats of the Bangladesh High Commission here were unavailable for comment.

China has emerged as a major supplier of arms for the Bangladesh Army but also a destination for its officers to receive training.

Bangladesh is modernizing it armed forces and procuring weapons from overseas. « The delivery of the first Chinese submarine will make the country (Bangladesh) dependent for more arms from China, » a senior Indian Army official said.

India is also boosting its defense ties. Parrikar, during his two-day visit to Bangladesh next week, is likely to « upgrade its bilateral defense cooperation, » the MoD official said. India is contemplating supplying offshore patrol vehicles with an easy financial package to Bangladesh as part of the defense cooperation, the official added.

« Bangladesh is our neighbor, and its strategic importance cannot be understated in any way. Such events as the purchase of submarines by Bangladesh greatly enhances the mistrust between the countries and
steps must be taken to reduce this gap and prevent Bangladesh from playing the China card repeatedly, » said Probal Ghosh, a senior fellow at the Observer Research Foundation, an organization dedicated to leading political and policy discussions in India.

Though India and Bangladesh have very cordial relations under the ruling dispensation in Dhaka, the two countries have yet to settle on a water-sharing treaty, which has proven to be a major irritant in Indo-Bangladesh ties.


New Zealand Considers 2030 With $14B Defense Capability Plan

By: Nick Lee-Frampton, November 22, 2016

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Following the delayed defense white paper released last June, New Zealand’s minister of defense, Gerry Brownlee, on Nov. 16 released the Defence Capability Plan (DCP) 2016, detailing the $14.3 billion investment in capability needed out to 2030.

Five areas have been selected for capability investment, according to the DCP, including cyber protection and support, intelligence support, littoral operations, operations in the Antarctic Ocean and southern bodies of water, and air surveillance.

Barely was the ink dry on the entire DCP, however, when a 7.8 earthquake resulted in the closure of the New Zealand Defence Force headquarters in Wellington as well as the evacuation of the government’s national cyber defense center, which is under the purview of the Communications Security Bureau.

Intelligence support has long been encouraged; there was concern expressed by Air Force personnel to Defense News more than eight years ago that intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities — particularly of the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s P-3K2 Orion air surveillance capability — were in excess of the capacity to process, analyze and distribute such information.

With Boeing upgrading the Orion’s underwater ISR « to better detect and deter underwater threats, » the potential flow of data merely increases even as consideration is given to replacing the Orions when the six-aircraft fleet retires in the 2020s, having entered service in the 1960s.

Replacement platforms may not be like for like, as ‘investment in remotely piloted aerial systems is also under consideration,’ the DCP noted.

By 2030, there will be either a surface combatant capability in service or under procurement to replace the Navy’s two Anzac-class frigates, the DCP said.

Meanwhile, there are plans to add a third ice-strengthened offshore patrol vessel (OPV) to the Navy’s OPV fleet, with upgraded communications and sensors by 2027 to extend the fleet’s life into the 2030s. New torpedoes are due by 2028.


Romania to Award Armored Vehicles Deal to Germany’s Rheinmetall

By: Jaroslaw Adamowski, November 18, 2016

WARSAW, Poland — Romanian Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos has announced that the country’s Defence Ministry is planning to award a contract for the delivery of armored personnel carriers (APC) to Germany’s Rheinmetall Defence. The company is to team up with a state-run Romanian manufacturer and launch a plant in Romania that will produce the APCs.

« There will be a partnership, a Romanian-German joint venture, which will allow Rheinmetall to obtain the contract from the Ministry of Defence and build an armored personnel carrier that will be first supplied to the Romanian military, » Ciolos told local broadcaster Europa FM in an Nov. 17 interview.

Under the plan, the new APCs will replace Romania’s TAB vehicles, which are a locally built variant of the Soviet-designed BTR-70. The amount of the planned acquisition was not disclosed, but the Romanian Armed Forces is planning to replace about 1,500 such vehicles in the coming years.

« A portion of the funds will stay in Romania and allow to create new jobs here, » Ciolos said.

According to the prime minister, the country’s Defense Ministry is seeking to conclude similar deals with foreign manufacturers for other military procurements. This includes the planned acquisition of new corvettes for the Romanian Navy, according to Ciolos.

The prime minister said that for 2017, the Romanian government is aiming to allocate a maximum of 2 percent of the country’s gross domestic product to defense expenditure.


Embraer Responds to New Zealand RFI for Airlift, Surveillance Aircraft

By: Nigel Pittaway, November 17, 2016


MELBOURNE, Australia — Embraer has responded to a recent New Zealand request for information (RFI) for a Future Air Mobility Capability (FAMC), with an offer for five KC-390 multimission transport aircraft.

The KC-390 is under development against a contract for 28 aircraft to replace the Brazilian Air Force’s fleet of Lockheed C-130H Hercules, with first deliveries beginning in 2018. The Brazilian aircraft manufacturer said it also holds letters of intent, for a further 32 aircraft, from five different countries and is actively marketing the aircraft to potential customers in Europe, the Middle East and Latin America.

The New Zealand proposal marks the company’s first opportunity for the KC-390 in the Asia-Pacific region, and the bid is supported by Boeing defense products division under the terms of a teaming agreement announced at the Farnborough International Airshow in July.

The Royal New Zealand Air Force’s FAMC program seeks to acquire a fixed-wing transport capability to replace the country’s five C-130Hs and two Boeing 757s, either with two new aircraft or a single type able to meet essential requirements in both strategic and tactical airlift roles.

Delivery of the first aircraft is required by February 2020 and for initial operational capability (IOC) to follow in February 2021. Final operational capability (FOC) is required no later than February 2024. The first replacement aircraft for the 757 fleet is required to arrive in New Zealand before Feb. 1, 2025, and IOC declared by Feb. 1, 2026.

“We are very positive that we can provide the best solution for New Zealand for the mission requirements that they have presented to us (and) I think they are very interested in the KC-390. But we understand and respect that this is a competition and we will fulfill all the required steps of the process,” Embraer Defense & Security President and CEO Jackson Schneider said at the company’s corporate headquarters in São Paulo, Brazil, last week.

The KC-390, shown here, is under development against a contract for 28 aircraft to replace the Brazilian Air Force’s fleet of Lockheed C-130H Hercules, with first deliveries beginning in 2018. Photo Credit: Nigel Pittaway/Staff
“We are in advanced talks with New Zealand (but) we are not negotiating contracts at the present time. The process is advanced, but it is a competition and we’re not the only bidder,” he said.

Schneider said that the only other manufacturer with a product in the same class as the KC-390 currently in production is US giant Lockheed Martin, with the C-130J Super Hercules.

He also revealed that Embraer is negotiating with what he considers a global civil customer for the KC-390, which will be certified to US Federal Aviation Administration and European Aviation Safety Agency airworthiness requirements, but declined to provide specific details.

“There is one specific discussion with a global company for a fully civil application. It will not require too much customization for the specific mission that they are talking to us about,” he said.

Another senior Embraer executive also revealed that the manufacturer is considering the development of a maritime patrol version of its new E190-E2 commercial airliner at the invitation of the New Zealand government to meet a forthcoming RFI for a Future Air Surveillance Capability.

The RFI will canvas proposals to replace the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s recently updated Lockheed P-3K2 Orion maritime patrol aircraft in the mid-2020s, for an FOC planned sometime between 2023 and 2025.

Embraer Defense & Security’s commercial senior vice president, Fernando Ribeiro de Queiroz, said the company will develop a maritime patrol version of the 190-E2, the latest version of its successful commercial « E » jet family, if required by the customer, but he also suggested that a KC-390 configured for the maritime patrol role might provide greater synergy with the FAMC response if New Zealand’s requirements are not inflexible.

“We are responding to the maritime patrol requirement with the -E2, because the requirements that New Zealand has asked for fits better with that platform. But our proposal for the tender is that, if they are able to adjust some of the requirements a little bit, we are able to support it with the KC-390,” he said.

“For example New Zealand wants the airplane to achieve M0.82, but if this speed is not a strong requirement we can support them with the KC-390, which is capable of M0.80,” he added.

Embraer is proposing to modify the KC-390 with a 360-degree surface search radar installed in the nose, similar to the configuration offered to Canada in that country’s long-range search-and-rescue competition, together with a palletized maritime patrol mission system.

“A palletized mission system and radar equipment in the nose and other equipment would fulfill the requirements for maritime patrol, but it does not compromise the other missions that the aircraft is already capable of performing,” de Queiroz explained.

“You can take out the mission system and fly with cargo, passengers, medevac, etc., so it would be a single fleet with perhaps two aircraft capable of being configured for maritime patrol and five dedicated to air mobility. It is how we can show synergy between both projects, but at the same time we have a solution that is 100 percent dedicated to maritime patrol with the E190-E2.”